The Road to 65, Mile 335: Sound and Fury


October 29, 2015, Chino Valley- The child’s piercing shriek rattled few nerves this afternoon, coming as it did in counterpoint to the pounding rain and hail that visited our school’s roofs.  Her plaint was due to the toppling of some cans of food that she had carefully stacked, in the back of our room, when her classmates went back there to place their Scholastic News copies in their mailboxes.  (We are collecting donations for the needy.)

The girl’s disability leads to these sorts of incidents, on occasion.  On a more regular basis, the innocence and lack of life experience of my eight-and-nine-year-olds bring into play the sorts of events that remind me why I stick with this enterprise called education.  There are many moments of delight and small victory.  There are many moments of hair-pulling (figuratively speaking) and exasperation.    It’s a lot like parenting, or marriage, in that regard.

I had only a few tasks which I needed the kids to finish.  At one point I had to raise my voice, for only the second time in three weeks, when their personal concerns of the moment got in the way of schooling.  I don’t enjoy that part of the deal, and so I keep the roar relatively dull, and infrequent. Nature’s roar, though, was a lot more discomfiting to the children, being less predictable and far less sensitive to little hearts and minds.

In the end, the rain subsided enough for me to get the kids to their parents (We have no school bus driver, and therefore, all students are met by at least one adult family member.) The disabled child was wrapped in her mother’s arms, and another girl, who had gone on a small group field trip, proudly showed me the 20-pound pumpkin she had won.

Tomorrow, I will visit the Arizona Department of Education, in Phoenix, and if my son’s plans coincide, I may stay down there, as a Halloween party is on tap there, on Saturday night.  The sound and fury of this afternoon will have moved on, to New Mexico and Colorado, then to the Mississippi Valley, in time for some frightful scenes on All Hallows Eve.